“So are we gonna do it?” Arnbjörg was shifting her weight from the balls of her feet to her heels and back again. “I mean. I know Leo went a little…” She considered the room and forced a little bit of tact to come out of her mouth. “Well, he was having some trouble with blackouts when he was here?”
Zita looked at her pointedly. “I don’t know. Are you going to do it?” Her tone was too pleasant to be real.
Arnbjörg looked straight back at Zita. “Should we?”
“Eight months ago, sure. Now?” Zita shrugged.
Arnbjörg considered that answer, looked at Zita again, and decided it was a yes. Continue reading →
He’d come up with it the past weekend, keeping it to himself – even if his Keeper seemed lax and helpful now, Leofric knew that the only way to be sure your Keeper wouldn’t tell you not to do something is if she– he didn’t know it was a thing in the first place.
Of course, Aviv hadn’t told him not to try to escape. He’d just said there wasn’t a way, while Leo felt along the boundary at the edge of “outside”.
Outside. Leofric had almost forgotten what it felt like, being outside. He hadn’t realized there was an outside they could get to, but then there it was, through a hidden invisible door, his Keeper leading him out and into the sun and sky and fresh air and letting him run. Even if there wasn’t a place he could run to, or a direction he could take to run away, he could still run. Continue reading →
Cya felt like, if she held herself perfectly straight and perfectly still, nothing would fall off. Otherwise, she was afraid, she was going to shatter into a thousand pieces.
She kissed Dysmas and made the appropriate wiggle as he grabbed her butt with both hands and pulled her in towards him, then headed off to class, not straightening her skirt until she was out of sight. Nobody tried to hit on her; Alexander looked over at her with sad eyes and she pretended she couldn’t see. Save your sadness for someone who needs it.Continue reading →
Thinking about anything besides his orders, his classes, and homework was….
Professor Vanderlinden was dramatizing Brave New World at the head of the class and Leofric was attempting to keep up and take notes (don’t get me in trouble again, and if you start slacking off in classes the teachers will blame me) while Zita and Howard whispered to each other (don’t interfere with other people’s Kept, don’t draw attention to yourself, don’t speak unless spoken to, don’t cause trouble in class). The orders tugged at his mind, his actions, pushing him through the motions of being a Good and Normal Kept. That was, after all, the only way he’d ever be one (too stupid to breathe, at least you’re pretty, don’t you want to be a good Kept).
“I don’t know, I think that if we were going to be superheros, we’d need a better plan then ‘let’s attack everything that’s bad.’ I mean, for one, you have to define bad. Evil? Didn’t pay their parking tickets? Bad fashion sense?”
“Oh, well, if all of those are our qualifiers we might as well attack everyone.” Zita smiled that sharp, strange smile she had. “Which could be fun…”
“Now, ah’m sure not everyone is bad,” Howard offered. “Ah mean, lots of people, of course. But even down here, there’s some good ‘uns.”Continue reading →
Leofric studiously took notes as Professor Pelletier wrote another equation on the board. Physics was a good class for not thinking about what was going on. And even if some of it had been pretty cool — he was growing antlers, Dr. Caitrin said, and now he had some kind of awesome electricity powers — most of it was… Well, he was trying not to think about it.
He’d gotten the worrying thing sorted, at least, after spending a few days convincing himself that a desire to help was not worry — and if he had to abatu his hugr every now and then, well, nobody had told him not to do Workings on himself. And using magic to destroy the feeling was the only reliable way to stop worrying that he’d figured out.
At first, Arnbjörg had been happy to see him. Melchior being around made Jaya happy, and it made severyone else relax. He’d even dropped his Mask for her once, which made her understand both why he Masked all the time and why everyone treated him like a mascot.
But Magnolia had broken out something she called “prime hootch” that smelled like a perfume factory truck had run into a vodka truck, and everyone had started drinking. And the more Melchior had started drinking, the more he draped himself on Jaya, who just petted him like it was cute. Continue reading →
“That don’t mean I have to like it!” Howard wasn’t quite bellowing, but it was a close call. Arnbjörg looked up from the onions she was chopping just in time to see Magnolia put a soothing hand on his arm.
“He’s not gonna hurt her, Howard, honey, and he’s certainly not gonna do any lasting damage. I know she’s your friend—” Continue reading →
Alexander had brought his friends today, a tall blonde boy with tusks, a shorter, darker boy with sandy hair and bright green eyes, and the skinny kid with the white scales and green hair. They weren’t surrounding Cynara, as if they knew it was a bad idea to trap someone you were trying to help. But she still felt a little cornered. And, for the first time, she felt like she was back in some normal school, with normal teenaged politics. Continue reading →